Macaroni Salad

Here is an interesting area in life. Pasta salads come in hundreds of combinations. You can almost go nuts here….since almost any salad item can be paired with certain pastas. I think we should spend some time looking into this area. Let’s make all different types of pasta salad and see if our loved ones can tell us which is the best.

I make a decent macaroni salad using elbow macaroni (it is the impromptu standard for this salad)…but I like rotini, orecchiette, Farfalline, Conchiglie, ditalini and cavatelli as other pasta shapes too. They each add a flare to your presentation which is part of the appeal of any dish.

I will proceed with a basic elbow macaroni for our blog discussion here.

Crunch is a big appeal to a salad …it adds that “bon appetite” to your first taste experience and I like to use fresh veggies and will  do my best to focus on the salad as pairing for the entree that will be the main dish. If this is a salad only menu and I am the macaroni salad provider I want color and bold outstanding crunch with a smooth creamy tang where the selected pasta is exotic enough that it catches your eye while the texture of the pasta is easy to fork, chews well and keeps your interest, that makes you want a second helping. I think my goal at any event is to provide the dish that everyone cannot get enough. I want to carry an empty bowl back to my vehicle upon departure. Watching people dig into my salad and tell others how good it tastes is what a chef lives for. It is our fine moment and I like when someone comes and tells me that this salad over here is the best and I know that I made that dish.

1 cup Miracle Whip

1 tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp Dijon Mustard (optional but I like adding this)

1/2 pound elbow macaroni, cooked, drained, rinsed and chilled

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper

1/2 cup red bell pepper

1 tbsp chopped Italian parsley

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 cup shredded Asiago cheese (optional and you can use any shredded cheese if you like cheese in your salad)

NOTE: For a creamier taste add 2 tbsp of sour cream to your dressing

Prepare the dressing by whisking in a bowl the Miracle Whip, vinegar, salt, black pepper, Dijon mustard, and sour cream if you are using this ingredient.

Prepare the salad by gently tossing the pasta, yellow bell peppers, red bell peppers, red onion, celery, parsley, and cheese if being used.

Pour dressing over salad and gently fold dressing into pasta mix. Place cover of bowl and place this into the refrigerator until serving time. Before serving taste and re-season with salt and pepper.  Enjoy!


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